Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT January-March 2012 Contents ASC.ARMY.MIL 73
process during the initial development of
the aircraft to identify the functions, func-
tional failures, failure modes, and failure
effects estimated at the time.
Based upon the FMECA process, periodic
inspection programs were put in place
to remediate estimated failure modes
and effects. Temperature, pressure, and
vibration sensors were installed for early
warning of impending failure. Compo-
nents that are tracked as Time Change
or Retirement Change were based upon
assumed usage rates, driving fatigue life
expectations. Our scheduled mainte-
nance inspection intervals are based upon
condition monitoring and preventive
maintenance practices to manage these
Once established, these strategies are rarely
revisited unless some significant event
triggers a new FMECA. Catastrophic
failure, mounting Quality Deficiency
Reports, dwindling stockage levels in the
wholesale system, and drastic, detrimental
effects on operational readiness have been
the traditional indicators that trigger a
reevaluation. A more proactive approach
is necessary to implement FM.
Analyzing data is arduous and labor-
intensive. Task-Based Maintenance
(TBM) is a concept that will automate
much of this process, integrating our
Interactive Electronic Technical Manual
(IETM) maintenance recording systems.
TBM will make the conduct of mainte-
nance easier by presenting the maintainer
with instructions in an interactive check-
list. It will also enable the PMs to improve
maintenance processes used on aircraft.
PEO Aviation's implementation of TBM
is under development. The Aviation
Logistics Enterprise Platform will provide
digital logbook functionality while inte-
grating various maintenance software
applications, Ground Station Software,
IETMs, the Maintenance Test Flight Cal-
culator, and other software used on each
platform. The Aviation Data Exploitation
Capability will be the server at the unit
that is used to gather, parse, and move
data to the enterprise.
IMPROVING TIME ON WING
The depot overhaul process and the data
gathered there are critical components
of FM. To understand the complete life
cycle of a component, one must under-
stand its autopsy. Until recently, there was
no institutional process to gather critical
failure data at the depot---data that are
key to performing RAM and RCM analy-
sis to identify reliability drivers.
The Reliability Improvement through
Failure Identification and Reporting pro-
gram (RIMFIRE) establishes this process.
RIMFIRE performs over-the-shoulder
tear-down evaluations during the overhaul
and records critical failure information.
Originally instituted for engines, it now
includes dynamic, rotating components.
These data are being integrated into the
ASAP process to give the PMs a more
complete picture of the components' life
and reliability issues.
At that point, there are three possible
actions to keep components on the wing.
1. Adjust or improve the procedure (task,
tools, training, etc.).
2. Adjust or improve the removal criteria
or understanding of the criteria.
3. Remediate or eliminate the failure
mode (through product improve-
ments, engineering change proposals,
and the like).
The majority---80 to 90 percent---of all
time-tracked components never reach
their published thresholds for time
between overhaul. We are finding that the
FMECAs used to establish those times
are not the failure modes driving remov-
als. Once removed, these components
are inducted into the depot overhaul
process, where the failure mode data
are lost. Subcomponents are replaced,
and the component is repaired and put
back into the wholesale supply system
Valuable data are lost in this process,
including components' high no-evidence-
of-failure (NEOF) rates. RIMFIRE
captures this information, and with this
knowledge, the PMs can better optimize
diagnostic procedures or criteria to reduce
those NEOF rates and increase compo-
nents' time on wing, further reducing
Soldiers' burden and life-cycle costs.
PEO Aviation's implementation of an
effective FM program, in coordination
with our life-cycle management part-
ners, the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile
Life Cycle Management Command, U.S.
Army Aviation and Missile Research
Development and Engineering Center,
and other organizations will maximize
efficiencies and synchronize efforts.
FM will enable the PMs to increase
the effectiveness, maintainability, sup-
portability, and cost-effectiveness of
their programs while, most important,
reducing the burden on our aviation
CW5 ART GRIBENSK is the Aviation
Maintenance Officer for PEO Aviation and
is an AH-64D Apache Longbow Mainte-
nance Test Pilot. He recently served as the
Brigade Aviation Maintenance Officer for
the 3rd Infantry Division. Gribensk is a
member of the U.S. Army Acquisition Corps.
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